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VALE: Ian Ferguson, Professor Emeritus of Forest Science

Melbourne University and the local and international forestry industry lost an outstanding leader in forest science with the death of Ian Ferguson. Professor Ferguson was born in December 1935 in Melbourne, Australia. Source: Timberbiz

Professor Ferguson initially studied for a Bachelor of Science majoring in Forestry at the University of Melbourne before completing his masters and doctorate at Yale University.

After stints as a lecturer at Melbourne University and at the Australian National University, he was appointed in 1981 as Foundation Professor of Forest Science at the University of Melbourne. There he also held many senior appointments including Head of the School of Forestry, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Pro Vice-Chancellor and President of the Academic Board.

Professor Ferguson retired in 2003 and was appointed Professor Emeritus.

During his working life, he also worked with the Forests Department of Western Australia and in a number of senior positions with the Australian National University.

He was a highly respected international in forest economics, policy and management and served on numerous boards and chaired a major government enquiry into the timber industry that was instrumental in modernizing the Victorian forest sector.

His achievements were many among them:

1953-57           Commonwealth Forestry Scholarship

1962                Fulbright Travel Grant

1962-63           Yale University Scholarship

1963-65           Yale University Fellowship

1989                M.R. Jacobs Oration

1989                Fellow, Institute of Foresters of Australia

1989                Fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation (now Parks and Leisure, Australia)

1992                Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering NW Jolly Medal: Institute of Foresters of Australia

2003                Centenary Medal, Commonwealth of Australia

2005                Erskine Visiting Fellow, University of Canterbury, N.Z. Sept-Nov 2005

2006                Fellow, Institute of Wood Science (U.K.)

He was on the governing boards of many organisations including: CRC Forestry, Tiaki Plantations, Taswood Growers, Hancock, Forests and Wood Products, Timber Training, Lignotek, Timber Promotions Council, Institute of Foresters and the School of Forestry, Creswick.

Professor Ferguson will be deeply missed by his many colleagues and friends across the country and around the world.

His legacy will live on through his many students and staff and his distinguished record of academic and technical publications.